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Cyber Security Engineer Interview Process

In the age of self-driving cars, online payments, and internet-enabled home security systems, maintaining cybersecurity is a challenge for all organizations. With everything becoming digital, the issue of increased data vulnerability has become more consequential than ever. Cyber security is now a priority for companies and consumers alike. 

In this constantly evolving threat landscape, the cybersecurity field offers diverse career opportunities, and every role will require just the right person for the job. Cyber security engineers help companies protect themselves and their customers against hackers, cyber-attacks, and other digital threats. This article focuses on the role of a cyber security engineer and what a typical cyber security engineer interview process looks like.

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation ebook to get interview-ready!

Having trained over 6,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have landed lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $933,000!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors, hiring managers, and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

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In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What Does a Cyber Security Engineer Do?
  • Skills Needed to Succeed at Cyber Security Engineer Roles
  • Cyber Security Engineer vs. Software Engineer
  • Key Topics for Cyber Security Engineer Interview
  • Cyber Security Engineer Interview Process
  • FAQs on Cyber Security Engineer Interview Process
  • How to Ace your Next Cyber Security Engineer Interview

What Does a Cyber Security Engineer Do?

The responsibilities of a cyber security engineer include:

  • Create secure network solutions that protect computers, servers, data, networks, mobile devices, and electronic systems from malicious attacks. 
  • Install firewalls, implement intrusion detection systems, check new security measures, give security recommendations, conduct risk assessments and security analysis.
  • Test and monitor existing systems and solutions to ensure they are up to date and working as expected.
  • Stay up to date with the latest technologies to maintain an edge over hackers and cyber attackers.

Skills Needed to Succeed at Cyber Security Engineer Roles

These are the top skills and qualifications required for cybersecurity jobs:

  • Bachelor’s degree in CS or a related field as well as a master’s degree.
  • Understanding of firewalls, VPN, IDS/IPS, data loss prevention, and security audits.
  • Knowledge of recognized IT Security-related standards and technologies.
  • Experience with incident detection, incident response, and forensics.
  • Excellent interpersonal, analytical, organizational, written, and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to safeguard sensitive business information from malicious criminals trying to get access to sensitive business data.
  • Capability to reduce the time to detect threats and time to remediate through automation.

Cyber Security Engineer vs. Software Engineer

Here are the key differences between a cyber security engineer and a software engineer:

As we can see from the above table, cyber security engineers protect assets from online attacks while software engineers develop systems and software for organizations.

Key Topics for Cyber Security Engineer Interview

Apart from learning as much as you can about the company you’re applying to, brushing up on what you’ve studied, and reading about the latest developments within the industry, here are the main topics you’ll need to cover while you prepare for your cyber security engineer interview:

  • Firewalls
  • Network Architecture
  • TCP/IP
  • Penetration Testing
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • OSI Model
  • Intrusion Detection

Cyber Security Engineer Interview Process

You can expect your cyber security engineer interview to have the following stages:

  • A phone screen with a recruiter lasting about 30 minutes to assess if you have a shot at the job and could be a good fit for the company.
  • A technical phone screen with a team member. This will last about 60 minutes, and you’ll be asked about your previous experience, a coding question, and some behavioral questions.
  • Onsite or virtual full-day interview comprising 5-6 rounds of interviews. Each round will test your specific technical and behavioral skills relevant to the role and the company.

Sample Cyber Security Engineer Interview Questions

Here are some frequently-asked cyber security engineer interview questions to help you prepare:

Question 1: Explain 10 OWASP vulnerabilities and suggest ways to prevent them.

Question 2: What is the difference between Hashing and Encryption?

Question 3: What is the difference between Symmetric and Asymmetric? Give some examples of each.

Question 4: Talk about some recent hacks or news around cybersecurity that you found interesting.

Question 5: How would you change the static IP on a PC?

Other than these questions, you can also expect questions involving hashing, authentication, session management, CSRF, Certificate Authority, and DNF.

FAQs on Cyber Security Engineer Interview Process

Question 1: What are some cyber security engineer programming languages?

Some popular programming languages used by cyber security engineers are C, C++, Python, Java, Ruby, and Go.

Question 2: What makes cyber security so important for companies and customers?

In 2021, a cyber attack on businesses is expected to occur every 11 seconds. 59% of customers avoid companies that have had a data breach in the last year. These breaches are expected to cost businesses over $6 trillion in 2021 worldwide, and the number is expected to increase significantly over the years if cyber security isn’t made a priority. With our increasing dependence on technology for everything ranging from personal data to financial transactions, all these facts make taking care of Cyber Security important.

Question 3: What is the future for cyber security jobs and professionals?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs in cybersecurity are most likely to grow by 32% by the year 2028. This is much faster than most jobs and also much faster than most roles in computer science.

Question 4: What is the range of salary a cyber security engineer can earn in the United States?

A cyber security engineer can earn anywhere between $77k to $126k in the United States depending on years of experience, but most cyber security engineers earn between $83k to $119k.

How to Ace Your Next Cyber Security Engineer Interview

Whether you’re a coding engineer gunning for software developer or software engineer roles, or a tech lead targeting management positions at top companies, IK offers courses specifically designed for your needs to help you with your technical interview preparation!

If you’re looking for guidance and help with getting started, sign up for our free webinar. As pioneers in the field of technical interview prep, we have trained thousands of Software Engineers to crack the most challenging coding interviews and land jobs at their dream companies, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and more!

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Interview Process
Last updated on: 
August 10, 2021
Author

Utkarsh Sahu

Director, Category Management @ Interview Kickstart || IIM Bangalore || NITW.

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